There are several possible reasons for a big difference in income. Sometimes, one spouse was the primary earner, while the other was the primary parent. In other cases, one spouse earned more than the other because of their field of employment, their work history or their job choices over time.
As part of our drafting a financial plan in divorce mediation, we go through the couple’s assets and debts to work out a fair way to divide them. Generally, the assets accrued during the marriage are considered both spouses’ property regardless of which party was the main breadwinner and regardless of whose name is on the account. Some couples in divorce mediation understand this concept right away and are prepared to work together on a plan for equitable distribution. For others, it is hard to wrap their heads around the idea that the monies that one partner earned while working are going to have to be divided and shared with the lower-earning spouse.
In divorce mediation, we work with clients to develop creative financial solutions. Part of the process may involve addressing one or both parties’ concerns that each spouse did not contribute evenly to the household’s financial needs. We find that addressing these emotions helps prepare clients for compromise. At the end of the day, everyone has to understand that the family’s assets and debts are jointly owned and will have to be shared. Rather than offering a forum to rehash old arguments, divorce mediation is future-oriented. We provide a place to create a fair plan for the equitable distribution of assets and debts that allows both spouses to move ahead with their lives.
For more information on financial plans and divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M.Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at email@example.com.